Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Cracker House

There is a town I drove through to many times to count to get to Crescent Beach from Gainesville where we lived. Twenty years later the back roads that lead to the Atlantic Ocean are still etched in my memory.

Palatka Florida was always a sad looking town that looked like it was barely clinging to life. The bridge to cross the St. Johns River is there and for that reason you had to drive down the main street in town. It looked much the same as it did twenty years ago.

I saw this house and for whatever reason it appealed to me. The simplicity of design and construction, a reminder of a mind set that has long since past about what constituted a house.

I had to turn around to take pictures of this house and for the first time ever I got off of the main road through Palatka Florida. I got a little lost since several main highways joined very near this wooden box of memories and they all curved to a certain degree and had to accommodate the railroad tracks that also followed this corridor.

Off the forlorn main road that took you across the river was a real city that I had never seen and never known. Older well tended suburban streets and new business centers with the usual box chain stores were just a few blocks over. I had to drive through Palatka once more for a trip to some springs and took the back roads on purpose this time to see the face of a city I had always passed by.

There is something about this house that appeals to me and Palatka has grown larger and earned a respect I never gave it before.


Anonymous said...

Christopher in Kihei...

Danny B's Dad in Tennessee
says Hi !

Tell that Bozo to call
his Mom. reb

christin m p in massachusetts said...

Yeah, but...

What if the house were restored back to its original condition, and maybe a foundation, and -- let's say, a white picket fence and lots of flowers and shrubs were added?

Would that, for you, detract from it's artistic appeal?

Christopher C. in Hawaii said...

If it was restored and all prettied up then it would have a different appeal, very unlike the appeal it has now.

christin m p in massachusetts said...

I do know what you mean. Weather and time have a form of artistry all their own.

I'm kind of the same way about window panes. When I look at very old window panes with their slight distortions and tiny trapped air bubbles, I find them much more artistically appealing than the flawless new ones. And whenever I see, on an old house or barn, an old window glass with a tiny crack in it (usually running more or less upward from the bottom edge, for some reason) along with a light coating of outdoor dust at the lower edges -- that, in my eyes, is exceptionally beautiful in an artistic sense.

I think it has something to do with the very fact that only time and the weather have touched it for many, many years -- as though it is somehow frozen in a time so very long ago, when life itself was beautiful because of its simplicity.

Yet, in a house I live in, I would choose the perfect new windows for practical reasons.

M Sinclair Stevens (Texas) said...

Hmmm...looks like my neighborhood.